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Seismic’s Guide to Owning Your Interview

Interviews can be intimidating and stressful. You worry about your resume, your appearance, your first impression and of course your responses to each and every question. As a rapidly-growing company, Seismic is no stranger to interviews. We’ve corralled some of the best tips and advice from our sales and marketing teams to help future interviewees succeed, no matter the industry or role.

    • Always research the company, the person interviewing you (if possible- LinkedIn is a great place to start), and the industry before walking in the door. Sometimes you won’t know who you’re meeting with, so be prepared to talk to anyone and everyone. Have relevant examples from your past experience of times you worked on a team, times you excelled as a leader, and times you had to overcome an obstacle. These are run-of-the-mill questions you’ll have to answer; make sure you have stories to show not tell about these scenarios.
    • Everyone knows not to be late, but don’t be too early either. Even if your train or Google Maps gets in early, use that extra time to get a coffee, settle in, and prepare. We’ve seen candidates show up over an hour early, which really doesn’t impress anyone and takes up the interviewers’ time that was scheduled for other day-to-day tasks. 
    • Be ready to answer the question, “How did you prepare for this meeting today?” This tells the interviewer a lot about how a person thinks and operates.
  • Have a list of questions ready to ask during the interview. Especially in sales, it’s important to ask the bold, decision-oriented questions, such as:

-Can you see us working together?
-Would you hire me based on our conversation today?

    • Be confident in what makes you YOU, be yourself and stand out using what makes you unique. This is especially important in a startup, where interviewers are looking to see if you’re the right fit for a smaller company with a typically unique culture.
    • Startup culture is different than corporate culture. You need to genuinely like the people you’ll be working with, and be able to spend long hours in tight spaces. In a corporate structure, you have standardized training, your own space, and a set of guidelines to follow. In many startups, you’ll be thrown right into your role after the typical admin. steps, so being able to prove that you’re a self-starter and adaptable in the interview can be very important. 
    • It is just as much your interview as it is theirs. You want to take the time to be sure that this is a company you believe in and a place where you would enjoying working every day. What I’ve found to be helpful is taking a minute to understand what you currently like and don’t like in your job and ask questions based on those aspects.
  • A personalized thank-you note after an interview goes a long way. Make sure to get business cards from everyone you spoke with, and don’t send an identical thank-you to each person. Get these emails sent out within 24 hours of your interview.

We hope that this advice helps settle the nerves a bit, and that you’re ready to excel in your next interview!
Thank you to Laura Mullhall, Jeff McDonough, Jessica Simpson and Kaitlyn Merola for their contribution to this post!